New beginnings for Sutherland Rural Fire
SUTHERLAND, Neb. (KNOP) - On Monday, representatives from Sutherland Rural Fire appeared before the Lincoln County Commissioners and asked for a resolution merging two of their emergency service entities. Roric Paulman, the chairman of Sutherland’s Rural Fire Board, addressed the board and shared how the merger benefits the surrounding communities.
“How do you make sure what happens in an ambulance or a wreck so that the patient has the best chances of success?” Paulman said. “It’s about inter-local agreements, understanding care and citizens figuring out how to get that done.”
The goal is to combine Sutherland’s Rural Fire District and Village of Sutherland Fire into Sutherland EMS. Paulman believes this will help with the recruitment and retention of volunteers.
“The priority is the patient and care,” said Paulman. “Casper, the ghost, does not run an ambulance. When you think about what an independent group of volunteers is doing in real-time for a car wreck or a house fire, the system lost some of its value.”
The Lincoln County Commissioners had concerns about taxes, budget cycles, and timing.
For now, the commissioners entered a joint resolution combining the two. Paulman adds they are working out an operating agreement.
There are villages throughout the state which have merged with rural districts.